LIVERMORE — Selectpersons on Tuesday were told the town got a bill for $3,615 last week from the IRS due to misapplication of a payment.

“That represents what they say is owed for the first quarter of 2020,” Administrative Assistant Aaron Miller said. “What happened was the Jan. 16 payment was applied to the first quarter of 2019 instead of 2020. Because of that, it throws off our tax deposits for 2020.”

Miller said Treasurer Mary Castonguay spoke with the IRS on Friday. A six-week hold was put on the account to give time to straighten it out, reconcile it on the town’s end and make sure the same things are being seen by both parties, he said.

The IRS wants a payment, Miller said. If not, interest will continue to accrue, he noted.

“The IRS hasn’t received quarters two and three for 2020,” Miller said. From the agent Mary spoke with, COVID-19 has put everybody behind, so that’s a possibility, he noted.

In October, it was voted to pay the IRS almost $5,871 in federal employer’s taxes, penalties and interest owed from 2019.

In November, then-Treasurer Amy Byron said the deposit dates were off for quarters one and four. One was because of technology issues, the other because she was out sick, she had said.

Byron resigned later that month and the board appointed Castonguay, the deputy treasurer, to the post.

“I talked with the IRS agent about what he’s seeing on his end,” Miller said. “Mary’s been right on the spot, every two weeks he’s seeing those payments come in.

“We’re unclear at this point if we’ll see any further penalties and interest for the 2020 year,” he said. The town could seek an abatement, but Miller said only one is given.

The total of penalties and interest for 2019 and 2020 was $4,919, Miller noted.

Maine Department of Transportation wants to designate Church Street in Livemore as a state aid highway, making the town responsible for winter maintenance. Church Street, also part of Route 108 connects with Route 4. The town library, community center and the Livermore United Methodist Church are on the road. Google maps screenshot

In other business, a conference call was held with Peter Coughlan, director of the Maine Department of Transportation’s community services division, regarding Church Street.

Coughlan sent Miller a letter in February concerning the road’s classification as a major collector/state highway. The 0.4 mile road is also State Route 108 and connects with State Route 4. Coughlan’s letter indicates the designation of Church Street should be changed to a state aid highway.

According to information provided, to be designated a state highway, a road must serve functionally as an arterial highway, carry relatively high traffic volume and connect or serve a facility of unique importance to the state.

Designation of a road as a state highway, state aid highway or town way defines who maintains what, Coughlan said. State highways are maintained by DOT, state aid highways are plowed by municipalities with other work going to the DOT, and town ways are maintained by the town, he said.

Church Street isn’t the same as Route 4 and shouldn’t be classified at that level, Coughlan said.

“I get what you’re saying,” Mark Chretien, chairman of the Board of Selectpersons, said. “The problem is our guys have 3.5 hours to do the routes right now and they can’t handle any more.

“We plow double if not triple to do (Route) 108 and the Crash Road,” he said. “We get more call-outs on 108 and the Crash Road than any of our town roads. It’s just an overburden, we don’t have the resources.”

The criteria say nothing about adding a burden, Coughlan said. There are plenty of other towns with roads like Church Street they’ve maintained for decades, he noted.

Church Street used to be the main connection through Canton over to Route 4, Coughlan said. When another connector was built decades ago, both were considered state highways, he said.

“If done again today, Church Street would have become a state aid road,” he said.

Asked how much Local Road Assistance Program funds would increase, Coughlan said the state provides $1,200 per mile. Changing Church Street to a state aid highway would mean a $300 increase for the town, he said.

Church Street averages under 1,000 vehicles per day based on annual average daily traffic studies, Coughlan said.

Chretien spoke of those studies done at Route 4 and Boothby Road/Route 108.

A traffic study done by the Norlands Road would be more accurate because a lot of traffic goes up over Waters Hill and cuts across to avoid Route 108, he said.

“If they’re taking shortcuts across our roads, your counts (for a state highway) aren’t even going to be close,” Chretien said. “I’m just asking to do it in a more accurate place. I know what we spend for time on 108.”

Coughlan said Boothby Road would not be made an arterial road/state highway, nor does he know why 108 is a state aid road.

Coughlan indicated he would consider a new traffic count if provided a map with the area to be studied. He will contact the DOT Region 3 office in Wilton for information regarding Church Street and asked the board to get back to him by the end of the month.

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